The high school sweethearts from Liberty have dreamed of owning their own business for 15 years and their vision finally became a reality last October when their store opened its doors as part of the grand opening of the Streets of Brentwood.
“We always wanted to own our own business and work together as a team,” Christine said. “We’ve had this vision since high school, and this business works for us. I have a business degree and Craig has a background in gourmet foods, so this is perfect for us. I handle the business side and he’s out in front (of the shop) making the chocolate.”
That’s the thing that sets the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory franchise apart from the competition: half of its products are made on site.
The most popular Valentine’s Day item, chocolate-dipped strawberries, is made fresh daily. Anticipating the Valentine’s rush, the McKnight’s have been taking pre-orders for strawberries, and they also plan to have extra berries on hand for last-minute lovebirds looking for the ideal gift.
Christine said that when it comes to buying a gift for Valentine’s Day, it’s the quality that matters most – not the quantity. “I know this sounds cheesy, but it’s the thought that counts. A single wrapped truffle can be just as meaningful as a three-pound box of chocolates.”
Truffles are the other anticipated big seller this year. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory offers truffles in a variety of flavors: mint, French vanilla, Kahlua, black cherry, Irish cream, champagne, amaretto, milk chocolate and dark chocolate.
“The truffle is the jewel of our candy case,” Christine said. “It takes three days to make them, and they’re so rich that just one will leave you with a smile on your face.”
Chocolate comes in many forms at the shop. There’s something for everyone. For the chocoholic, there are fudges, chocolate bars, frozen chocolate-covered cheesecake on a stick, and chocolate-dipped marshmallows; for the more adventurous, Christine suggests chocolate-covered potato chips, which quench a sweet and salty craving in one bite.
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory also offers a variety of sugar-free chocolates so that even the health conscious can still indulge once in a while. Sugar-free candies come in the forms of nutty clusters, buttercreams, chewy caramels, and milk, dark and white chocolates.
Even Fido will find a tasty treat at the Factory. The Brentwood location offers Dipped Dog Bones which are biscuits dunked in white liquor, the cream that’s drizzled on top of chocolates, which doesn’t contain the chemicals that are harmful to dogs.
If chocolate isn’t what flips your switch, there’s something for you, too. The most popular non-chocolate item is the caramel apples. While you can get the standard apple drenched in creamy golden sauce, the Factory takes it to a new level, creating an apple art form with gourmet apples covered in M&Ms, peanuts or chocolate chips, among other coatings.
For Valentine’s Day, caramel apples are dressed in festive pink and white. Pre-packaged heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are also available for purchase, as well as chocolate roses and lollipops.
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is located at 2485 Sand Creek Road, Suite 136, across from the Streets of Brentwood fountain. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 925-513-3384 or visit the Web site.